Welcome to Shashaani Research Group!

My name is Sara Shashaani,

  • Assistant Professor of Edward P. Fitts Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering,
  • Associate Faculty of Graduate Program in Operations Research, and
  • Affiliated Faculty of Center for Additive Manufacturing and Logistics (CAMAL).

at North Carolina State University and I can be reached at

  • address: 915 Partners Way, Room 4175 Raleigh, NC 27695-7906
  • email: sshasha2[at]ncsu[dot]edu

I am a professor and researcher of Monte Carlo simulation and stochastic optimization with focus on operations research and data science. Check out the research page for more details on  ongoing work of our group, and the news page for recent developments.


  • Office of Naval Research, Fast and Scalable Stochastic Derivative-free Optimization, 2024-2027
  • North Carolina Department of Justice, Advancing the Sustainability and Resiliency of Lagoon Systems in Eastern North Carolina: Tool Development and Utilization, 2024-2025
  • National Science Foundation CMMI-2226347, Collaborative Research: Calibrating Digital Twins in the Era of Big Data with Stochastic Optimization, 2023 – 2026.
  • AAUW Research Publication Grant in Engineering, Medicine and Science, American Educational Research Association, 2022-2023
  • Research Innovation Seed Funding Award, North Carolina State University, 2022
  • Faculty Research and Professional Development Award, North Carolina State University, 2021

Recent Honors and Awards:

  • Featured Article “Predicting Additive Manufacturing Defects with Robust Feature Selection for Imbalanced Data” in IISE Transactions Magazine, 2024
  • Invited Article “Building Trees for Probabilistic Prediction via Scoring Rules” by the Journal of Technometrics at Fall Technical Conference, 2024
  • ISE Bowman Faculty Scholar at NCSU, 2024
  • ISE Distinguished Dissertation Award: Yunsoo Ha, 2024
  • IISE Modeling and Simulation Division Teaching Award, 2023
  • Outstanding Contribution in Reviewing, Journal of Simulation, 2022
  • Distinguished Service as the Proceedings Editor, Winter Simulation Conference, 2022
  • Simio Student Competition, 2022
    • First Place: Claudia Donahue and Alexej Lozevski
    • Honorable Mention: Daniel Malerich and Kelby Mace
  • Finalist, Best Student Paper Competition, INFORMS Service Science, 2020
    • with L. Mao, K. Vahdat, and J. Swann
  • Finalist, Best Student Poster Competition, INFORMS Annual Meeting, 2020
    • with K. Vahdat
  • Outstanding Reviewer, INFORMS Simulation Society and Winter Simulation Conference, 2019
  • Stage One Winner (top 25 in 300 teams), CMS Artificial Intelligence Health Outcomes Challenge, 2019
  • Best Student Paper Award, PhD Colloquium, Winter Simulation Conference, 2016

Recent Service: 

  • Journal Referee:
    • Mathematical Programming, SIAM Journal on Optimization, Journal of Simulation, ACM Transactions on Modeling and Computer Simulation, IISE Transactions, Journal of Simulation, Vietnam Journal of Mathematics, EURO Journal on Computational Optimization, Entropy, Risk Analysis
  • Co-creator of SimOpt: an open-source testbed of simulation optimization problems and solvers
  • Co-organizer of SimOpt Workshops, Winter Simulation Conference, 2022-2024
  • Posters Track co-Chair, Winter Simulation Conference, 2024
  • Analysis Methodology Track co-Chair, Winter Simulation Conference, 2023
  • INFORMS Simulation (I-Sim) Society Treasurer, 2022-2024
  • Proceedings c0-Editor, Winter Simulation Conference, 2022
  • “Derivative-free Optimization” Cluster Chair, International Conference on Continuous Optimization (ICCOPT), 2022
  • Chair and Member, INFORMS Simulation Society Committee for Underrepresented Minorities and Women, 2019-21

Education and Prior Experience:

  • Postdoc, Industrial and Operations Engineering, University of Michigan, 2016-2018
  • PhD, Industrial Engineering, Purdue University, 2016
  • MSc, Operations Research, Virginia Tech, 2014
  • MSc, Industrial Engineering, Purdue University, 2011
  • BSc, Applied Computing, Southern Cross University, 2009
  • BSc, Industrial Engineering, Iran University of Science and Technology, 2008